I just thought I would introduce myself. The name's Parker. I am originally from Northwest Arkansas. I joined the AF and they have sent me a few places. Currently I am in Wichita, Kansas. Not much year 'round trout water, but that's ok.
Being from NW Arkansas, I grew up fishing on the White River. However, I was spin-casting, not fly fishing. My dad tried to get me into when I was in high school, but I was either "too cool" to fly fish, or something else had my eye . . .
Anyhow, last week my wife and I took a little vacation with my parents to the White River. My dad told me he booked us on a guided fly fishing trip a little ways down river from where we were camping. We were staying at Bull Shoals State Park. I was super nervous.
I practiced in an open field with some of my dad's gear. I felt a lot more confident now than I did years ago.
So, long story short I got hooked. I landed a 19/20 inch brown, and a handful of rainbows and a cutthroat.
I decided to get into it, but was worried it would be worthless in Kansas.
No worries now though, I have done some research. I also went out today for the first time in Kansas and landed a handful of sunfish and bluegill, and a little 4" largemouth. Not bad for my first time fly fishing here.
Welcome to the forum, good to have you here. And congrats on that brown- it's a beauty.
You should have plenty of stuff to chase in Kansas including largemouth--- and Colorado isn't THAT far away if you decide to do a road trip for trout. We have a lot of members from all over the place including KS, CO and AR.
Since you're near Wichita, you may want to check out these folks: http://www.flatlandflyfishers.org/ It's a great way to jump start your FF career and a get intel on local waters, participate in group trips, take advantage of casting clinics and meet a few new fishing buddies.
I had seen stuff about them online before but was afraid they might look down on someone with such little knowledge. Yeah, I am in Wichita. I have been hitting up some ponds on McConnell AFB with some luck. I guess the closest smallmouth waters are an hour away. There is a nice fly shop here in Wichita, and I have hit them up a couple of times this week already. I signed up for a few classes, but will be deploying pretty soon, so I am going to have to do those when I get back.
First- thank you for your service and we all wish you and your buddies a safe deployment.
Glad to hear you're running into some bass at the AFB. they are a blast and ya gotta love the way they explode on flies.
And just so you know, that club is affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers - a national organization that promotes fly fishing and conservation. FFF clubs tend to be VERY welcoming to newbies with no "snob factor" - and are very big on education, run casting clinics (they run a fly casting instructor certification program to help others teach the sport) and beginning fly tying classes and group trips to local waters and far off destinations so they should be a great resource for you.
As a rule they tend to be a friendly bunch, and I'm sure you'd learn a lot. After fumbling/stumbling around on my own for several years I joined a couple similar clubs- a Trout Unlimited Chapter and a saltwater fly fishing club (also affiliated with the FFF) and learned a ton-- with lots of "aha" moments and "so that's how you do that" revelations. They took years off the learning curve. It's also good to hear you have a local fly shop. They're treasures- most have disappeared around here because of the "trifecta" of high rents, lousy economy and competition from the the big online stores.
Anyway, again welcome to the board, get in some more fishing before you deploy, and feel free to check in once you get settled overseas!
Welcome to Kansas, and thanks for your service to our nation.
The Flatlander club guys are good people, DO NOT feel intimidated about going to a meeting. As has been stated, the FFF mission involves education and recruiting new fly fishers. They WILL help you, and will be glad to do it.
We've done several seminars for them and have always found them to be a good group.
One thing about being in Kansas is that you need to be open minded about fly fishing. We have some fantastic fishing, but it is not traditional fly fishing. The most challenging fishing we have is for carp. Yes, carp. They are abundant, big (5-15 pounds are common), and can be hard to catch. They will challenge your skills.
If you visit our web site, you'll find a link to my article on fly fishing for carp that was in American Angler a few years ago. There is also a link to my wiper article, and others I've written on other topics.
Don't be shy about emailing if I can answer any questions - equipment (we're on pro staff for Temple Fork Outfitters, Scientific Anglers, Mustad, and Mitzi Flats skiffs), techniques - we've been doing this thing in Kansas for quite a while, or where to go to learn more - the Southern Council FFF conclave in Mountain Home, AR in early October is a great place to learn more.